You can prevent your next migraine
If you suffer from migraines you know they are so much more than “just” a headache. Debilitating pain that can last for days. Serious side effects that make it difficult to lead a normal life. Having to avoid certain foods or activities for fear of bringing on a migraine. And medication that is hit and miss.
But what if there’s another way?
A mechanical problem
Previous research has focused on blood supply as the primary cause of migraines, many patients describe a “pounding” or “thumping” sensation. And much of the medication has been developed based on this principle.
But with advances in scanning technology, PET scans, fMRI scans etc, we now know that the primary cause of migraines is the nerves – the trigeminal, the occipital and the brainstem itself.
All three of these nerves are in the upper cervical spine – the neck.
We also know that many migraine sufferers have neck, shoulder or upper back pain immediately before, during or after their attacks.
Are the two connected? The studies and evidence says, “Yes”.
Fix the neck, fix the problem
So if we resolve the nerve issues in the neck we can take the pressure off the nerves.
Without the pressure on the nerves . . . . there is no trigger for the migraines.
The first step is a full clinical assessment of the cervical spine (and probably the rest of the spine too!) by our Consultant Physiotherapist, Estelle Mitchell.
We will also take a full history from you as well. We’ll need to know:
- how often you have an episode,
- how long they last
- what additional symptoms you have
- when they started
- whether they have got worse or changed
By combining clinical expertise as well as the latest in nerve imaging technology we take the guesswork out of finding the true cause of your migraine. We will determine exactly which nerve is compromised and to what degree and explain everything to you clearly.
Effective, personalised treatment
Once we know exactly which areas are compromised and to what degree Estelle can then formulate a treatment plan designed exactly for you.
There are a wide range of treatment options available and how they are used depends on you and your specific needs:
- Manual therapy – no manipulation or cracking! Using a variety of manual treatments Estelle will gently and carefully release the tension
- Electro-lymphatic therapy – to reduce the irritation in the nerves themselves for faster results
- Magnetic Resonance Therapy – this not only strengthens the discs within the spine, reducing nerve blockage but can reduce recurrence and the need for medication. Recent research from NICE in the UK has also shown that this can “stop” a migraine before it develops.
- Self Management techniques – treatment shouldn’t be forever. Estelle will teach you techniques and give you “homework” to ensure you can continue to manage your condition and prevent migraines in the future.
By using these in a combination for your specific needs (as well as other therapies as needed) we can put together an effective programme that will reduce the frequency and severity of attacks and reduce your medication.
Set your mind at ease
Some patients, especially those who have had a bad experience before, are worried that treatment will trigger a migraine.
Many treatments will. BUT the difference is after an expert clinical assessment Estelle will know what causes the migraine. So she knows how to turn it off.
We will never leave you in pain. And we will always ensure you aren’t in danger of an episode.